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May 2009

April 2009

they're back!

After a nearly perfect day, where we decided to head to the beach with a picnic to beat the unseasonal 90 degree heat, poked around picking up beach stones and walked the cliffs above the ocean, something happened that made it even better.  We were having supper on the deck (still beating the heat) when I remarked to C that the one thing that would make my birthday perfect, would be for a hummingbird to show up.  Yep, not a minute went by before a small male hummer buzzed up.  He's the first of the year.  I don't know if they are back, but he is.  He went to the feeder then flew overhead, stopping to rest on a nearby branch.  When he took off again, it was to the kitchen window to check out the other feeder, the one that I haven't put up, yet.  I love that they come back and that they remember. 

Home.  Second feeder. Tomorrow.


blue as the sea

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The first time I saw Anne's new shawl pattern, Trevi, I knew it was for me.  I love the geometry, and I love that it is asymmetric.  The pattern isn't difficult.  The stong pattern makes the knitting easy to read.  The purled rest rows make tinking back easy.  The yarn is my Ball and Skein KashMir, a light dk, maybe heavy fingering wt yarn in a soft merino / cashmere blend. Ocean is the colorway.   I've been slow putting it on the B&S website.  With so many spring shows, I'm holding off posting the new yarns and colorways until the end of May.  Some of them may show up here while I'm working as a little blog fodder.  If you see something that sings to you, shoot me an email. 




Connecticut Sheep & Wool

It is going to be a gorgeous, warm spring day!!  Perfect for a Sheep & Wool Festival.  If you see your way to Tolland today, stop by and say "hi".  I'll be in the Gold Building.  That's the one with the food, lamb stew all day.  BTW, it is their 100th birthday!!  Imagine.  You think you are a fiberholic??  Yep, we're part of a long line of fiber folk.  One way or another.

Here's a link to the website:
http://www.ctsheep.org/100th_annual_sheep_and_wool_festival

Directions are near the bottom of the page. 

Time to go....


ten minutes (for Tuesday)

Have you noticed how beautiful the light is?  The sun is high, mornings begin earlier and the days extend into what were the evening hours.  I love it!  Like a magnet, the light draws me out of doors.  Even before I grab a cup of coffee, I head out onto the deck to feel the air.  This morning, like the cats, I headed out time after time, in spite of the 20F temps and a too thin nightgown. It was glorious.  Ice out was yesterday, sometime around 4 pm.  Poof!  It happened so quickly that I wonder if the ice is still just below the surface. 

What does this have to do with ten minutes...

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Portable projects. I find myself walking around, checking things out, spindle in hand.  It adds up. 

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Sammy's good, he circles around under my spindle and rarely touches it, even with his tail. He's a spinner's cat and well practiced.

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P1060218 I continue to be distracted. I pass the shop and have to stop.  There is something about stone.  Seems that there is always time for one more button.


waiting for ice out

Back up north..

While the rest of you are busy smelling the spring flowers, the folks in the Kingdom are collecting and boiling the last of the sap this weekend.  Just one more time and my neighbors tell me that they'll have matched last year's production.  A bit to my south, the float has been placed and the last of the bets on ice out at Joe's Pond are in. No bets are taken after April 1st. because, well.. you never know.  A day or two ago, I figured I might at least tie with Joe's Pond, but today, after seeing the pictures just posted, I'll have ice out first.  The edges of my pond have started to soften this afternoon.  Who'd want to be THE coldest, not me.  Not really.

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When the sun is out and I see green tips poking up through last year's garden debris, I want to rake the gardens.  It is hard to figure, will they suffer during the cold nights or during the sure to come again colder days?  I've settled for raking the garden closest to the south side of the house.  That will have to do.  The berry patch got a real good clean up this morning.  C used the blade on the weed wacker to cut a new path through the center ot the blackberries.  The patch has grown so large that it is nearly impossible to pick the middle. Then we cut out all of last year's stems and hauled them off to be burned.  Perfect day, cold enough to have a coat on as thorn protection and warm enough to want to be out working in the field.

The February Lady Sweater is finished.  In spite of the stripiness, I like her.  Pictures will come.  I've been swatching for another sweater.  I dyed some All Wool in a dk in the Abalone colorway.  I toned it down even a bit more than usual as I wanted to play with the palest of blue tones.  I still haven't come up with a pattern.  I've got several sweater patterns picked apart, trying to see what works.  I'm thinking cardigan, would love to do a top down again, but probably a raglan.  I love the little frilly edge.  Any ideas?

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They're Coming!!

...and it looks like they are a week or so earlier this year.  Get your feeders ready.  Those early hummers will need it when they get here. I've noticed that the little flying bugs are out now, so the hummers shouldn't be too far behind.

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toohoot!

Go check out the hummingbird website.  It is packed with all kinds of good information.

For those of you that don't remember how to make hummingbird food, here's the recipe:

Fill a measuring cup to the 1/4 mark with sugar. Then top off to the 1 cup mark with water.   Heat to boiling.  The ratio is 1:4.  The first time I fill the feeder each year, I add a bit more sugar, say 1:3. 






weekend

The weekend brought the first sound of peepers, only a few, but a sound so welcome that I left the window open so that I could fall asleep to it.  The andromeda bloomed and there were small insects flying, everywhere.  I heard, but didn't see, my first red winged black- bird of the season. 

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The sky was an impossible blue, but was it really that blue?  I can hardly imagine.  Whatever the color, Sunday was gorgeous.  The wind came from the land, not from the water.  We'd started the morning working. Again.  You know the expression "wound up tight"?    We needed some time off.  Really off.  It didn't take much to persuade Chris, just the mention of a picnic and a walk along the water and off we went.

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You know what that means.. don't you.  While everyone else is showing you pictures of their spring flowers, ( I don't have any yet) from me you get..

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more stones. 


February Lady Sweater

I'd have slept a lot better if I'd steamed the February Lady earlier in the week.  It was looking mighty close yardage-wise. 1010 yards should've been enough, I know that, I kept telling myself that, and the balls of yarn continued to unwind.  One night I woke myself thinking about it.  When I got down to the last 4 balls (of unknown length) I started parsing them out.  I knit one sleeve with one ball, but didn't bind off.  I knit to the bottom band.  Finally, I steamed.  It looked promising.  I finished the sleeve and bound off.  I have long arms, gorilla girl arms, and still it is long enough.  I knit a bit more of the body and the bottom band.  Did not bind off.  Last night I picked up the stitches for the second sleeve with the confidence that there is plenty of yarn and probably some left over.  Lesson learned.  Steam as you go. 

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Now that I can see it in daylight, I'm not sure I like what happened with all that striping.  It never occurred to me, that a randomly spun yarn, knit in a one piece sweater, over SO many stitches, would / could have so many pooled stripes.  Random.  Each side looks like it were knit from a different yarn.  Let me say that again.  It is one piece.  Weird, huh? 


walk with me wednesday.. the drey

P1060147 It was one of those absolutely bone chilling mornings last winter, the kind where the wind whips through your clothing, forcing the cold dampness in, no matter how many the layers, that I found the drey* in some low bushes at the base of one of the oaks.  The wind had howled all night, breaking limbs from the trees and with it the fallen drey.  The forecast was for a nor'easter, any minute by the look of the sky.  I was in a hurry to pick up the debris before the snow started up so left it where it fell, thinking to come back when I'd finished.  This particular nest was one I saw from my window, it had been there for years.   I worried about the inhabitant.  Where would she shelter not only the incoming storm but the rest of the winter.  Then, it started to snow.  It was one of our biggest snowfalls of the winter.  By the time we'd dug ourselves out and I remembered the drey, it was buried.  Better to let it wait for spring than chance damaging it digging it out. 

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With winter mostly gone, once again I was out picking up.  There in the garden, a little misshapen, but still intact, it sat.

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Look at the layers of leaves, only veins remaining, making a wonderfully complex web, leaf netting.  Inside, more and more layers, I'm thinking it rather snug.


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A drey (or grey squirrel nest) doesn't go unused for long.  If an occupant vacates, another may consider it a fixer upper and move on in. 


*

Noun1.drey - the nest of a squirrel


ps. I know it is Thursday, but this didn't get posted in time, making it a Wednesday - Thursday kind of entry.